In a YouTube video released Monday, a hacker known as "Bitcoin Baron" claimed responsibility for the City of Madison's website and corresponding URLs (ranging from the city's permit site to olbrich.org) being intermittently down late Monday afternoon and into the evening. The video, titled "Officer Matt Kenny Kills 19 Year Old Tony Robinson," includes a distorted digital voice that states, "Your site will be targeted now for the killing of Tony Robinson." "I guess you need a boost from someone to increase more protesters to take to the streets," it continues. Recently, the "Bitcoin Baron" claimed responsibility for an attack on the city of San Marcos' municipal websites in response to a 2013 incident in which a police officer had already been fired and subsequently jailed.
All of the city's websites were inaccessible between approximately 6:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Monday. As of Monday night, cityofmadison.com and other city websites were experiencing frequent outages.
In a press conference Tuesday morning, Mayor Paul Soglin confirmed that the City of Madison's websites had been attacked, and that all city websites used to pay bills or fines had been temporarily suspended to avoid data theft.
City of Madison Technical Services manager Richard Beadles warned City Network users of a "Viable Network Security Threat" in an email Monday morning. Beadles claimed "an entity" known to use email phishing, denial-of-service attacks and individuals posing as city employees both over the phone and in-person to gather user information may attempt to infiltrate or attack the city's network.
The Wisconsin State Journal has reported that the hacker collective known as "Anonymous" claimed credit for the attack, citing Madison Police spokesman Joel Despain. Mayor Soglin would not confirm the report on Tuesday morning.
"Bitcoin Baron" continued to claim credit for the attack and disputed the involvement of "Anonymous" on Twitter, and warned of oncoming attacks to Wisconsin Bank & Trust's website, along with Wisconsin banks in general in a YouTube video released Tuesday afternoon.
As of posting, wisconsinbankandtrust.com was still accessible.
[Editor's note: This article was updated at 2:09 p.m. Tuesday with reporting from Joe Tarr and additional relevant online activity.]